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Should I Vaccinate My Pet?

May 1, 2014
"Vaccines?? Maybe if I stay here, they'll think I'm a knickknack..." (Quinn Dombrowski photo)

“Vaccines?? Maybe if I stay here, they’ll think I’m a knickknack…” (Quinn Dombrowski photo)

Beyond kisses, cuddles, and belly rubs, loving your pet also means getting her the best veterinary health care you possibly can.  Part of good medical care for your pet is vaccinating your beloved friend against preventable diseases so he will be around to be loved, and love you back, for a very long time.

Since May is Vaccine Awareness Month, let’s talk about several things you should consider when deciding about vaccinating your pet.

Cost of veterinary care is very important to most pet owners. So, it is important to ask your veterinarian what vaccines your pet must have, and when.  A few vaccines are absolutely necessary for all dogs and cats, not only to keep them alive and healthy, but to also protect you and other people from certain diseases.  These vaccinations are usually required by law in your state or town. Rabies vaccine is one example of a must have vaccine. It must be given at certain times and will need to be given more than once (when cost is an concern, try to plan ahead).  Landlords often require an up-to-date record of certain vaccinations before renting you and your pet an apartment, as do some groomers before they handle your pet. It is wise to keep all your pets veterinary records safe and close at hand!

Other vaccines are not considered as critical for pet health or may not be required by law. You will have more choice about these. You veterinarian may recommend these for better health for your pet, but factors such as cost, your pet’s age and medical history, and exposure risk to a certain disease can be considered. For example, dogs that live in the country are more likely to get certain diseases than dogs that live in the city and vice versa. Also, older pets need fewer vaccinations. The key to deciding whether to vaccinate your pet, and when to do it, is talking with your veterinarian openly about your questions and concerns.

– By Barry Adams


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